Are some menopause symptoms indicators of chronic disease?
As it is Vascular Awareness Month I thought I would write about the vasomotor symptoms that accompany menopause.
Firstly, to explain “vascular” simply means relating to or affecting vessels – especially those which carry blood. “Vasomotor” means causing or relating to the constriction or dilation of blood vessels.
It is already known that decreased ovarian activity and low oestrogen levels accelerate vascular ageing such as:
- stiffening of the arteries
- damage to the artery wall
- higher blood pressure
- higher cholesterol levels
- higher levels of obesity
And of course, these factors all significantly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
We also know that many women complain of ‘brain fog’ around the menopause. (You may want to read this blog post on the subject)
Menopause has also been connected with osteoporosis but now there is evidence that the more severe the short term conditions of hot flushes and night sweats, the greater the risk of long term conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease and cognitive impairment in later life.
This is part of a growing body of research which indicates that menopausal symptoms - especially hot flushes and night sweats – are vasomotor symptoms (or VMS ) which may actually be precursors or predictors of chronic diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment.
It’s so important to be able to share this information with women. Part of my role is to keep up to date with ongoing research so that I can discuss risk reduction and empower women to make decisions about their current and long term health.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more.
If you would like to read the latest research about this please click here
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